My father and grandmother in 1949, around May. I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out.
Racie Harris Morris & Randy–before
Racie Harris Morris & Randy Morris–after
I chose the Mystery Monday blogging prompt for today because I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last few weeks trying to find William Smith’s Confederate military records. But first, the facts:
- Born: About 1822 in Montgomery County
- Died: after 1880
- Married: Sarah Strother
- He’s my 3rd great-grandfather via:
- his son, Jones Monroe Smith
- his son, Joseph Jones Smith
- his son
- his daughter, Katherine Jean Smith
According to my cousin Helen Smith Crepps in the Montgomery County Heritage Book, Volume I, he
enlisted in CA at Brunswick on August 29, 1863. he served in the 3rd Co G 40th regiment state troops, stationed at bald head island, near fort fisher, where his troop aided blockade runners and made soap and other supplies for the confederate army
According to my papa Nelson,
he enlisted late, about time war was over, was sent to Bald Head Island to make soap to clean things up, like dysentery and such. At some point the Union surrounded them, his captain said every man for himself and he took off through the swamp barefoot. He walked all the way home, barefoot, and they got after him saying he would be considered a deserter so he went back. By the time he got back, the war was pretty much over.
Helen says that in October 1864, his troop was sent to Fort Fischer and told to escape if possible.
My inexperience with confederate records has really put me at a disadvantage. I finally found a record of a William Smith who did indeed enlist in August of 1863. This William was on roll until October 1864. But, there’s nothing to tie him to my William.
At points like this, I really wonder what I’m missing.
- Fred Hoyt Morris Sr
- Born: June 14, 1907 in Montgomery County, NC
- Parents: Charlie “Braid” & Annie Cranford Morris
- Married: Racie Elmira Harris in Bennettsville, SC in September, 1928.
- Died: October 23, 1980
- My Grandfather
My Pa Pa was my everything until I was 7 years old. Ma Ma always said he let me do whatever I wanted. If that meant writing in books, I did. There is still evidence of that. We made forts on couches and fished and picked blackberries. Well…he baited my hooks and watched me lose it or catch a catfish or suckerfish which he had no use for. I have a feeling that fishing wasn’t quite what he usually enjoyed when I was along with him. He never complained except for the one time he was trying to lay a new sidewalk at church and I demanded to go along with him. I stubbed my toe and nearly took my nail off. His initial response was worry and frustration and fussed that he told me I didn’t have any need to be there anyway.
While my parents worked, I stayed with my daddy’s parents until I was four, and then I stayed after school. Pa Pa would come pick me up early after he was done with his rounds and probably his sort of fishing. He was my light and I never wanted to miss an opportunity to be with him, even if it meant trekking through the woods (he went in front to get rid of spider webs) or blackberry briers (usually I watched from the side). I simply couldn’t get enough.
When I was seven, he had a heart attack and spent two weeks in our local hospital in ICU. Even though the age limit was 12, I was able to go in and see my Pa Pa. I didn’t quite understand why he couldn’t get up and go with me, or sit up and really play. After two weeks, he was transferred to another hospital. They were more strict there, but when my cousins took me for a walk, we went right by the wing he was in. He got up out of bed and came to the window to see me. I wanted to stay longer, but my cousin’s hurried us both along, saying PaPa needed his rest. I don’t know how soon after he was gone. My child’s memory says he was in both hospitals about two weeks each. I know he was due to come home and had another, worse, heart attack. This one, he couldn’t overcome. He passed away on October 23, 1980. I remember being upset that it was my mama’s birthday and how bad that was.
Fred Hoyt Morris was born on June 14, 1907 in the Moratock community in Montgomery County, NC. His parents were Charlie “Braid” and Annie Cranford Morris. In 1930, he worked for the sawmill. I have pictures (I’ll try to remember to add them) from 1932 when he went on a trip to Tennessee to sawmill for a bit. By 1940, he was working as a carpenter in the Bridge Building industry. He worked for the State of NC Highway Department for 30 years. My daddy found his service pins the other day (one for 10, 15, 20, 25 and maybe one for 5), a few are shown here along with his lighter and a Methodist Men pin.
- Personal Knowledge
- Morris, Fred Hoyt 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940×2 US Federal Census
For this photo, Grandmother Allen (Rosa Caudle Allen) took little Virginia and Margie to Troy. It may be hard to tell from the photo, but this was no simple feat. She had to get them up early and get a ride to the train station in Norwood (a couple miles away). Then, they took the train from Norwood to Troy, a distance of about 15-18 miles as the crow flies. It was coal powered, so they wore their old clothes for the trip. Once they were in Troy, Grandmother picked up their new dresses and got them all gussied up. The pair was finally ready for their picture! After the picture, it was time to undo everything! They changed back into their old clothes and carefully packed up the new dresses. They rode the train back to Norwood and an uncle was there to pick them up. What a long day! But also, what a beautiful picture.
Virginia Allen is my great grandmother.
Allen Sisters, ~1910